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When Self-Interest Is Self-Defeating: The Public Goods Experiment As A Teaching Tool

Author

Listed:
  • Nelson, Robert G.
  • Beil, Richard O., Jr.

Abstract

This simple classroom experiment demonstrates many of the behavioral phenomena associated with the voluntary provision of a public good. The mechanics of the game are explained in detail and complete instructions are provided, as well as suggestions for follow-up lectures. Influences such as anonymous voting, persuasion, returns to free-riding, and duration of association can be explored in connection with concepts of incentives, individual rationality, and group welfare. A number of variations and extensions can be used to incorporate prisoners' dilemmas, incentive compatible mechanisms, negative externalities, and Coasian bargaining.

Suggested Citation

  • Nelson, Robert G. & Beil, Richard O., Jr., 1994. "When Self-Interest Is Self-Defeating: The Public Goods Experiment As A Teaching Tool," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:15171
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/15171
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-366, April.
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